So I was reading on a blog I really enjoy and they had a dos and don'ts etiquette list when talking to infertile couples. Mostly I agree with them, but I thought I would share my individual "please, just stop" list with you. Don't take offense to these, trust me, more than one person has done each of these and I just thought I would share a couple things that really erk me.
1. Please, just stop complaining about the gender of your baby. I understand pregnancy comes along with aches and pains, and I really don't mind hearing about them because it's part of your life, and I love you! But what really gets my goat is the whiny attitude that you didn't get the baby you wanted. If you're not interested, I am.
2. Please, just stop assuming that every major life event in our lives is going to get us pregnant or get chosen by a birthmother. Adoption is a big part of our lives, but there are other things too! Graduation, a house, and moving are all things to be congratulated on, not necessarily occasions to imply "well, that's nice, but what you really want is a baby so that's what you'll get when it's most inconvenient." I know it's meant to be hopeful, but it's just old. Like a joke you've heard a billion times, it's just no longer funny/amusing/hopeful.
3. Please, just stop saying "enjoy it while you can." We are enjoying life, very much, but we really do long for our child. You wouldn't say to someone who just had a parent die "well, enjoy life without them while you can." Simply put it's insensitive, and I have never thought my life would be better without my children. What respectable parent would?
4. Please, just stop assuming that because we don't have children it's because we don't want children or want to focus on our careers. This isn't so much an issue now, but a lot of people (at church especially) made comments that we should start a family sooner rather than later. This is just something to think about when looking at others with no children. You have no idea why their life is the way it is, so until they come to you to talk about it, just leave the issue alone. Infertility and adoption is private between a husband and wife, so let them deal with it alone.
5. Please, just stop recommending pregnant mothers you know. Don't think that just because your mother's best friend's daughter is pregnant she wants to give her child to us. It is most definitely not that simple. We don't just want any baby, we want our baby. I also have a testimony that adoption is not for every unwed mother, it has to be right for everyone involved. If you do know a mother that maybe considering adoption, ask for our contact information and give it to the mother you have in mind. That's it and come what may.
7. Please, just stop recommending we have more marital relations. Seriously, it's weird. I would never say that to you. Yes, this has happened more than once, and it's uncomfortable every time.
8. Please, just stop dancing around the subject like you don't want to offend me. Uhhh, heads up: I know I'm infertile! So, let's talk about it! I know you have questions because I do when I talk to other infertile women. I have never been offended or upset by someone's inquiries who sincerely wanted to know more about the situation. It's those people that think I am extremely fragile. It's part of my life, and I know it can be uncomfortable for those not experiencing it, but it's not for me. I'm doing just fine, so if you would like, let's chat! (A great place to do that, if you're uncomfortable, is my Formspring account.)
I realize after going through a list of don'ts, telling you not to be nervous is a bit confusing, but just think before you speak. Or just take this simple advice...
Thanks for letting me share. It's not rocket science, but it is nice to know I am doing my part to make y'all aware that insensitive remarks can potentially hurt others' feelings. Duh. I'm not Christlike enough yet to allow these things to roll off my back, but maybe someday...